If you’re unsatisfied with the way your teeth look, they don’t have to stay like that forever. Professional teeth whitening is exceptional for treating superficial stains, but veneers can hide deeper discoloration.
Depending on the type of staining you’re experiencing, there are cosmetic dentistry treatments that can help.
As we age and experience life, the enamel (surface of the teeth) darkens and appears less white. Diet contributes to extrinsic staining the most. Coffee, tea, dark-colored sodas, wine, and naturally and artificially dyed foods change the color of our enamel. Chewing and smoking tobacco products can also contribute to surface-level staining. Surface-level discoloration is categorized as extrinsic staining.
Even though extrinsic stains aren’t as permanent as intrinsic stains, they don’t usually respond to regular brushing or over-the-counter whitening products, such as whitening strips.
In-office teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic dentistry treatment and can dramatically lessen surface-level staining. Professional teeth whitening treatments are fast, effective, and long-lasting. Zoom!® in-office teeth whitening treatments can brighten teeth up to eight shades in just 45 minutes.
Here’s how our dental team whitens the teeth:
- A dental hygienist thoroughly cleans the mouth and polishes the teeth.
- The dentist checks the current shade of the teeth.
- They’ll apply a layer of advanced whitening gel to the teeth.
- A blue LED lamp is applied to the teeth to accelerate the whitening process comfortably.
- Steps two through four are repeated three times.
- Once you’ve reached the desired shade, the dentist applies post-treatment gel to protect the enamel and reduce sensitivity.
The dentist may prescribe custom whitening trays and a take-home whitening kit to touch up the brightness of your smile whenever you want to.
Not all at-home whitening treatments are the same, but Opalescence® by Ultradent is a proven take-home whitening system. The dentist fabricates a customized bleaching tray and provides a patented low-concentration peroxide-based gel. Typically, patients wear their tray for 15 minutes to one hour per day for about two weeks. After several sessions of this peroxide-based gel formula, Opalescence can dramatically brighten teeth as much as in-office whitening treatments.
To preserve whitening effects, avoid stain-causing drinks, food, and habits:
- Coffee, tea, red wine, and any bright-colored drinks can discolor enamel.
- Natural and artificial food coloring can stain teeth.
- Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause yellowing and browning effects.
If you must indulge in these things, rinse or brush your teeth immediately afterward. Our dentist may also prescribe medication for home use that helps with the whitening process.
Intrinsic staining darkens the dentin (inner dental issue). Genetics, trauma, fluorosis, and certain medications cause intrinsic staining. Veneers and crowns can improve the appearance of deep staining that does not respond to traditional whitening treatment.
These wafer-thin, color-matched restorations camouflage deep staining. Dentists permanently bond veneers to the front of the teeth. They are completely customizable in shape and color so that they blend seamlessly with adjacent teeth.
If the tooth is discolored due to oral trauma, a crown may be necessary. Crowns differ from veneers because they fully encase the entire visible portion of the teeth (not just the front). Dental crowns, or caps, rebuild the dental structure to improve the appearance and protect it from infection or further damage.
It’s Time to Improve the Look of Your Smile
Professional whitening can create dramatic results quickly, safely, and effectively. Contact Chisholm Trail Smile Center to learn more about how to whiten your teeth. Call 580-244-4880 or contact us online today.